Forest Service Wants To Hear From You About The George Washington National Forest Plan
Warm Springs, Va – The public comment period for the draft forest plan is now open. A draft revision of the George Washington Forest Plan was released in mid May of 2011. A final revision of the George Washington Forest Plan is set for January 2012.
Numerous public meetings have occurred in the communities in the George Washington National Forest area. Visit our website for documents and additional information or call the Warm Springs Ranger District office at 839-2521. The public comment period for the draft revision runs through September 1st, 2011.
The Secure Rural Schools Act returns National Forest revenue to counties for natural resource projects. The US Department of Agriculture has established a resource advisory committee to work with the George Washington – Jefferson National Forests and localities to manage projects and funding. The process of planning and implementing projects with counties in conjunction with the resource advisory committee established by the USDA is now underway. Projects were submitted to this resource committee on July 24. The final decision on project funding will be made by the Forest Service by mid August.
The 2011 fire season in the southeastern states has been one of the most active in the last ten years. Firefighters from the Warm Springs and James River Ranger Districts have been coming and going on fire assignments since April to places like Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia and North Carolina. The forecast in the southeast is for the remainder of the year to be warmer and drier than normal conditions. The western states are expected to have a below normal fire season due to a heavy snow pack and a slow melt from a long spring.
Virginia Tech in conjunction with the Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fish is conducting a comprehensive three year study on coyotes on National Forest lands in Bath and Highland Counties. The study will evaluate coyote range, diet and population using radio collars and scat studies among other techniques. The study began in June of this year.